Right, left, left, right – one foot in front of the other. Shoes are everywhere. No matter the major, every student needs shoes. Differences arise, however, when determining how each student decides to dress his or her feet from day to day. Some people say shoes not only serve as a means of protection or a fashion accessory, but can also tell a story about a person.
Check my Footwork
“Eccentric – that’s what people think when they see me wearing the different types of sneakers I wear on campus,” said Derek Sutherlin, a 21-year-old finance student from Chicago. Sutherlin said he wears sneakers people would think are unusual or “really popular.”
“The shoes I wear depend on the flow of the outfit and whether I want my shoes to blend or pop,” he said. “If my shoes are blending with my outfit then I feel like I am giving off a more simple and laid-back-guy type of feel.
If my shoes pop, then I’m giving off more of a risk taker type of personality.”
Sutherlin said there is a clear-cut difference between what comes to mind when he sees a young lady on campus wearing heels or a pair of sneakers.
“When I see a girl with some pumps on, walking across campus,
I think she is classy and about business, because ladies complain about how heels hurt their feet,” he said. “So if a young lady is walking up and down these hills on campus you got to give them their props,” he said.
“Now a young lady wearing something like a pair of Jordan’s on campus, that’s a totally different story,” Sutherlin said. “The first thing I think about is that she is either a real casual girl or just real hood.”
My Opinion Counts
Stefanie Kenchens, a 22-year-old senior psychology student from New York, said she expects a lot from men, and shoes are a good way to find out about a guy.
“I mean, guys have to come correct and Reeboks will not do,” Kenchens said. “As long as the shoes look nice, are clean and in good condition they have a chance.”
While Kenchens does expect a lot from guys, she also said she feels ladies need to do their part as well.
“Right now my black Mary-Janes are saying that I like to be comfortable yet stylish,” she said. “I’ve been on campus since eight o’clock this morning so I need to dress for comfort, but when a lady is going out I see no reason why she should be wearing some flip-flops,” Kenchens said.
When getting dressed for different occasions, Kenchens first looks for a pair of shoes that fit her mood and then puts together the rest of the outfit.
“My shoes always set the mood for whatever I am wearing,” she said. “Some think of them as just an accessory, but to me, they are more like an essential piece of the wardrobe,” Kenchens said.
She said she believes shoes tell a story about a person.
“A woman wearing some sneakers on campus can be perceived as someone who is fast-paced, loves comfort and is on the go. While a woman wearing flip-flops would be looked at as homely and like she doesn’t really care about her appearance.”
The reason some individuals may judge someone based on their appearance can be instinctive. “It’s almost natural – you look and you come up with an assumption,” Sutherlin said.
Kenchens relates the different types of footwear to literature. “Any way you look at it your shoes definitely tell a story about you – almost like a silent narration of who you are for that particular day.”